Infighting among two BJP leaders who are brothers and medical practitioners has become the talk of the town in Valsad, after the elder of the two and sitting MP K C Patel was declared the candidate for the Valsad Lok Sabha constituency. Younger brother D C Patel, who was hoping to be selected this time, has been sulking since and has decided not to campaign for KC Patel like he did during the last Parliamentary elections.
In another such instance, Ankita Patel has tendered her resignation as a result.
When K C Patel was named for Valsad in the list released by the BJP on Saturday night, it was unexpected.
In the past one month, local leaders of the BJP in Valsad had believed that this time he would not get the ticket, for reasons that have not been disclosed. In this backdrop, DC Patel also gave in his name when BJP election observers had visited Valsad last week to collect the names of interested candidates and to make recommendations to the top brass regarding whom to field for the Lok Sabha seat.
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DC Patel, who runs a hospital of 30 beds in Dharampur taluka of Valsad district, had contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2009 and lost by a margin of a mere 6,000 votes to Congress candidate Kishan Patel. After seeing the party’s candidate list released with his brother’s name, he declared that he has been deeply hurt. He presently does not hold any important post in the party.
“I am not the only one who is unhappy, thousands of tribal people (voters) are unhappy as they had wished that this time the BJP would change its candidate in Valsad,” he said, speaking to The Indian Express.
“After the names were announced, we all were shocked. Our immediate reaction was to leave the Whatsapp group of the party in Valsad.”
“We have now become inactive,” he added.
He feels that his brother should have bowed out of the race and given him a chance when he expressed his interest to contest.
“I will not campaign for my elder brother Dr KC Patel in this election,” he said.
“When I expressed my interest before the election observers, he should have withdrawn his name, and even supported my name, which he did not do. So now the line has been drawn between us and from both sides, nobody will cross the line.”
He said he had worked night and day during the 2014 parliamentary elections to ensure the victory of KC Patel, but he now felt let down.
“At present I have not made up my mind about what to do and what not to do, but after a few days I will think about it and later come to a conclusion,” said DC Patel.
Infighting among BJP leaders has also been seen in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) after Natu Patel was announced as the candidate. Ankita Patel, who is the national secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Morcha of the BJP, and a member of the BJP Mahila Morcha in DNH, had also expressed interest in contesting from the DNH seat. Having been denied the opportunity, Ankita Patel has resigned from all posts in the party.